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30 September 1988
Agenda item 76
UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY FOR
PALESTINE REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST
Palestine refugees in the West Bank
Report of the Secretary-General
1. The present report is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 42/69 J of 2 December 1987, entitled "Palestine refugees in the West Bank", the operative paragraphs of which read as follows:
The General Assembly
Calls once again upon
Israel to abandon those plans and to refrain from any action that leads to the removal and resettlement of Palestine refugees in the West Bank and from the destruction of their camps;
the Secretary-General, in co-operation with the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, to keep the matter under close supervision and to report to the General Assembly, before the opening of its forty-third session, on any developments regarding this matter."
2. On 20 January 1988, the Secretary-General addressed a note verbale to the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations, in which,
, he drew attention to his reporting responsibility under the resolution and requested the Permanent Representative to inform him of any steps his Government had taken or envisaged taking in implementation of the relevant provisions of the resolution. In his reply dated 7 July 1988, the Permanent Representative of Israel stated as follows:
"Israel's position on this resolution has been fully set out in statements by Israel's representative to the Special Political Committee on 20 November 1984 (A/SPC/39/PV.35), on 8 November 1985 (A/SPC/40/SR.26),
on 15 November 1985 (A/SPC/40/SR.34), on 28 November 1986 (A/SPC/41/SR.14) and in the report of the Secretary-General (A/42/482) dated 18 August 1987."
3. The position of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA remains as set out in previous reports of the Secretary-General (see, for example, A/41/568 and A/40/615) that he would not
object if refugees in the camps voluntarily sought better housing, whether by improving existing housing or moving into new housing. He would, however, strongly object if any pressure or coercion were used to make refugees move or comply with any scheme. As pointed out in earlier reports, refugees will not lose eligibility for UNRWA's services by the mere fact of relocation outside the camps. As at 30 June 1988, of the 385,634 registered refugees in the West Bank, 285,723 live outside the camps.